vendredi 27 novembre 2015

Kind acts at Christmas time (2015 edition)

This Christmas season, I decided to participate in several projects showcasing more kindness, more charitable acts and more love. Of course, my family is also involved!

* Ornaments swap. In the Multicultural Kid Blogs community, members, who wished for it, have bought or crafted ornaments to send /share to the others entrants. 1 ornament + 1 card: a lovely way to connect with our fellow members on MKB.
I have made with my children those three stars: wooden sticks, golden paint, rope and markers (different colors). They have already been sent (and I hope received!) to California, Texas (USA) and Switzerland. I choose "stars" ornaments because of our family's Christian belief and the role of the "bright star" who guided the sheperds to baby Jesus and later the wise men to a toddler Jesus.
I'm eager to discover the ones I will receive from three different bloggers and the story behind them.

I was a bit too enthusiaste with the paint spray and painted my fingers... It was proof that I made them by myself (and the help of my daughter who cut the rope and pass me the sticks).

* Care package between expats.
Thanks to Oui In France and her kind idea, I have prepared a package that I sent to Singapore to an expat I didn't know (but I had some infos about what she liked...). I will also receive one before Christmas from someone else.
As you can see on the picture below, I bought a mix of food and goodies: marzipan from a reknown company in Lübeck, chocolates in a package decorated with a picture of my town, a stollen, a magnet, a armband with a lucky angel, a card and small candles.

Oui In France: Facebook page, or twitter.

From Oberursel, Germany, to Singapore.

* 3 week-ends of family kindness
Three weeks ago, I saw a post in my FB news feed about a project one of the MKB member wanted to organize. It's the project #beSanta by Hanna Cheda  (+ use of the famous #randomactsofkindness). The idea is rather simple: chose three week-ends in December and do a generous act with the whole family. I have talked with my husband and my children and after hearing that they found the project great, I told them of what I had in mind for our kind acts.

- Sending a postcard to a French class learning about the countries this year (see the article in French): a primary school teacher has posted on her FB page a message for help. Her students (23 kids from 6 to 11 years old, living on the isle of Noirmoutiers, France) have for topic this year "Countries of the world". So she asked her friends to share her message "Send them postcards from your country / town". They have already received around 5000 postcards (+ some presents).
My son will write his postcard this Saturday (with my help, he's learning to write only for three months) and the children of Noirmoutiers will receive it before St Nicolas' Day.

- preparing homemade gifts for the neighbours. That's my second time to prepare gifts for the neighbours. My first Christmas in Germany, I had packed a mix of Christmas cookies and hung them on their doorknob. Last year, we just moved from our rented flat to our current (owned) flat and I had no time to come up with something.
This 6th of December - St Nicolas' Day -, I will surprise them with homemade candle jars + chocolates (bought, I'm not a chocolatier). I have one week to finish decorating the last four jars. My daughter loves to help with that activity. My son prefers to wait for the third one.

- making toys for the animals at the shelter. Yeap, you read right. We're going to cut some old jeans, sew some fabrics, and create toys! I have found many DIY on Pinterest and the kids chose the jeans braid + t-shirts toss and tug toys for the dogs and cardboard balls + rolls with metallic paper cover (cats love shiny things). This activity will take us several afternoons next month and that's perfect for me.

Be on the look out, I will post pictures after our different projects will be completed.

I invite you this Christmas season to take care for the people in your life AND for those you don't know. Kindness doesn't always require lost of hours and difficult work. Most often, it demands just an open heart and a will to serve. Of course, we can't be everywhere. So chose a few charitable deeds you know you can do and act!

mercredi 25 novembre 2015

Wordless Wednesday #6

As I have forgotten to publish my picture last wednesday, you will have two topics today!!!

Vu que j'ai complètement oublié de publier ma photo de mercredi dernier, vous avez droit à deux sujets aujourd'hui!!!

C'est la première fois que j'en mangeais! C'est vraiment très bon, et en crumble avec des pommes, bien gourmand!
It was my first time eating one! It's really good and in a crumble with apples, so yummy!

Pas avant 5 ans pour commencer le karaté... même si on en a très envie et qu'on fait les mouvements presque mieux que son frère!
Not before 5 years old to start karate classes... even if  one is very eager to do so and knows how to do the moves nearly better than the brother!

dimanche 22 novembre 2015

Meeting the Food Nanny

Have you heard about the Food Nanny? No?  Well, let me introduce you to Liz Edmunds, "the Food Nanny", whom I met this Friday evening.

When my Relief Society president (organisation for women in my Church) told us that the activity for November will be conducted by someone called the "Food Nanny", I was eager and intrigued. I love cooking classes, so yes eager, and I had never heard of her... I looked up on the internet to find informations and I stumbled upon her TV show, her blog and her youtube channel, and loved them. Well, after meeting her I'm even more a fan.

She's for a few months on a mission with her husband for our Church, and they have been assigned in Frankfurt. She told us that wherever she goes, she's always happy to help families have more meaningful and healthy dinner together.

When she was a young mother and her husband was flying somewhere (he was a pilot), she decided that she would have a life on her own and started to learn how to cook for her family, with the aim of having family dinnertimes and healthy food. At that time, there were no TV shows or internet, just books. So she grabbed books in the libraries and taught herself. As she often traveled with her husband to Europa, she tasted there yummy dishes and had the taste in her mouth for days. She decided to cook those dishes at home.

In her books - she wrote two books The Food Nanny rescues dinner  and The Food Nanny rescues dinner, again! xo - all the recipes are her owns or from friends. She wrote down the mealplans she used with her family and that's what interested her publisher: she had lived this system for many years and still enjoyed it. 

Her mealplan for dinner is really simple but so effective! Each day, a name/thema. She has met with many nutritionnists and they all said it was great. For her family, her weekly dinner meal plan is the following:
  • Monday: Comfort food
  • Tuesday: Italian
  • Wednesday: fish or meatless
  • Thursday: Mexican
  • Friday: Pizza (she always fed numerous youngs from the neighbourhood that night)
  • Saturday: Grill
  • Sunday: Tradition food

The rules for nutritious, healthy and delicious dinners that she teaches during her classes are (non exhaustive list):
  • plenty of vegetables and fresh fruits. She cooks for each dinner 1 dairy and 2 vegetables products (one fresh at least, the other "frozen" or caned). 
  • no red meat everyday 
  • fish once or twice per week
  • eat from everything and don't restrain yourself from something you like (be careful with allergies though!)
  • portion control is the key to stay fit

Liz was firm in telling us that children should participate when we discuss the mealplan for the following week, so that they know what to expect and tell us what they like/want, and also during the cooking. 
When dinner is ready, the whole family sits together at the table and enjoys the meal. Dinner is important because it's THE bonding time a family should have together. She accepted to become the Food Nanny on the purpose of helping people have more family time. So many young people don't know how to cook and older ones are fed up with cooking for family members who don't take time to eat and talk. 

Her moto: "I want to bring families home for dinner" has struck a cord within me. As a child, my grand-mother and my mother have always taught me that a meal has to be eaten at the table, sat on a chair, and that it was the moment when we can talk. 
French people in general are very strong minded when it comes to food. And dinner time. Some nutritionnists say that French eat perhaps too much in the evening... but how could we not share with our loved ones good food and conversation? Eat take-out everyday and rarely take time as a family: unthinkable for many of my French peers (I think I can add many European countries...) Although, with the way our society is changing - always faster, numeric friends before real ones, juggling too many activities, etc -meal time has became less treasured.

At our home, dinner is eaten on our big table, without the TV on (if so, it's for a very special occasion) and the children have to behave (read: eat as cleanly as possible and stay on their chairs until they are "full"). Like the Food Nanny teaches, we eat various type of dishes and I cook them by myself for the most part. I say the most part, because I'm not a crack with pastry... so the profiteroles we have eaten tonight were definitly bought at the supermarket. 
However, I cook half time on a whim (what do I still have in my fridge and pantry?) and the other half I follow a plan. I will start in January with a meal plan as the one Liz has created. I have one month to decide with my husband and my kids on the topics of our dinners. Mexican evening is clearly not adequate for us, but I know that we will have an International night, a French evening, and Italian one (my husband and pastas... a true love story)... I will keep you in the know when it will be chosen!

From left to right: Liz Edmunds, me and Alice.
Alice was very quiet for her first cooking class, even though she couldn't try the French baguette or the pizza...

Meanwhile, I invite you to try to be more present at dinner time. Even if you're single, you can have a nice dinner and cook what you like. Be more conscious of what you have in your plate and what your body needs. Take small steps if it's too overwhelming for you, but I assure you that one day you will have daily yummy, fun and healthy dinners with your family (or friends)!

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

dimanche 15 novembre 2015

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop - November 2015

Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can't wait to see what you share this time!

Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son's Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.

This month our co-hosts are:
Russian Step by Step for Children on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It's very easy, and simple to participate!
Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you're following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
  • Don't be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!
  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you're featured, don't forget to grab the button below:
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

I had a hard time chosing a post from last month link-up to feature on my blog, but I finally elected the article about Ada Byron Lovelace & the Thinking Machine, on the blog Crafty Moms Share. This book could be a great introduction to logic and computer programming, and of course, to women in sciences.

Thank you for linking-up, and we can't wait to see what you've been up to!

jeudi 12 novembre 2015

Wordless Wednesday #5

Fête de la St Martin: les enfants du Kindergarten de ma fille ont marché avec leurs lanternes dans le quartier, en procession, tout en chantant des chants pour cette fête. Sophie a fait sa lanterne dans sa classe, celle de Gabriel je l'ai acheté... Désolée pour le flou mais avec Alice qui bougeait dans le porte-bébé, c'était bien difficile de prendre des photos dans le noir!
St Martin's Day: the kids in my daughter's kindergarten have walked in procession with their lanterns, while singing special songs for this Day. Sophie made her lantern in her class and I bought the one for Gabriel... Sorry for the fuzzy picture but Alice was moving in her baby-carrier, it was quite difficult to take pictures in the dark!

vendredi 6 novembre 2015

Ce qu'une naissance à domicile m'a appris sur l'expiation de Jésus

Je sentais que la naissance était proche. Cela faisait déjà une trentaine de minutes que je ne pouvais plus me concentrer aussi bien sur la gestion des contractions. J'avais trouvé ma position pour l'accouchement et mon mari me soutenait par sa présence et ses prières silencieuses.

De mon côté aussi, je priais. Je n'ai pas demandé moins de douleur, juste de pouvoir avoir suffisamment de force dans mes jambes (elles tremblaient et me faisaient souffrir au niveau des veines) pour amener ma fille jusqu'à sa naissance et être inspirée pour "pousser" au bon moment. L'enfantement est véritablement un moment de profonde communion entre une femme et Dieu (notre Père Céleste), ainsi qu'entre elle et Jésus à Gethsémanée.

Combien j'ai ressenti l'assurance de pouvoir y arriver "seule", comme j'ai été créée pour le faire. Grossesse physiologique, bébé de taille et de poids moyens, maman encore jeune... Pourquoi médicaliser ce moment intense, épuisant, joyeux et mémorable? Ce choix de naissance à la maison est une des meilleures choses qui me soit arrivé. Ma compréhension spirituelle du monde s'est améliorée, mon lien avec mon bébé est plus fort et intuitif que ne l'a été ceux avec mes deux premiers enfants - et même si je sais que je n'étais pas prête à l'époque pour un accouchement sans péridurale, surtout dans le cas du second qui a été déclenché, je ne peux que regretter de ne pas avoir eu ce lien si puissant avec mon fils et ma première fille.

Lorsque la naissance se rapproche, les parturientes ont tendance à paniquer. Gérer les contractions devient plus difficile. Si au début du travail j'ai pu utiliser la technique de visualisation pendant chaque contraction et ainsi rester "détendue" et calme, dès le moment où le bébé a commencé sa descente et que l'envie de pousser a pointé le nez, mon esprit s'est laissé emporté par toutes les sensations de mon corps. Heureusement pour moi, j'ai beaucoup lu et étudié pendant ma grossesse. Je m'attendais à ce changement. Et au lieu de paniquer et dire que j'avais besoin d'être anesthésié, et bien que j'ai laissé échappé quelques "aide-moi" à ma sage-femme (et des "aïe-aïe-aïe"), je me suis "laissée faire". Je savais que la douleur allait être juste pour un moment.

Ma foi m'a également portée. Une des sages-femmes m'a surnommée "Power Frau". Il faut dire qu'Alice est sortie en une grande poussée. Et que j'ai dû être patiente pour que la délivrance soit complète (le cordon faisait presque 1 mètre!) A aucun moment je n'ai été désespérée ou anxieuse. Certes, je commençais à être fatiguée, mais je savais et ressentais que je n'étais pas seule, qu'il y avait une force, une énergie (donner le nom que vous voulez...) près de moi, autour de moi et j'ajouterai même EN moi. 

Comme la visualisation n'était plus possible pour ne pas me laisser submerger par les contractions, j'ai pensé à Jésus priant à Gethsémané et ressentant toutes les douleurs que les humains subissent. La douleur de l'enfantement, les "horreurs" que certaines femmes subissent à ces moments-là, il les a ressenti lui-aussi. Pour être notre avocat lors du Grand Jugement, il a tout expérimenté en quelques heures. Mes pensées alors que mon corps était en train de donner la vie se sont tournées vers lui, vers le sacrifice incomparable qu'il a accepté de faire. Cette assurance que je n'étais pas seule dans ma "petite" souffrance m'a renforcé. J'allais donner naissance à ma fille, sans peur et sans problèmes. J'allais l'aimer et l'aider dans son développement, comme Dieu et Jésus-Christ nous aiment et nous aident. 

Parce qu'Il n'a pas pris que nos péchés et nos souffrances sur Lui, il a également une infinie compréhension de l'Amour, de toutes les qualités divines que les humains possèdent. Alors je fais des efforts au quotidien pour être une source d'amour et de réconfort pour mes enfants. C'est un long chemin, où je trébuche souvent, mais au bout duquel je pourrai regarder le Seigneur sans regrets de ne pas avoir fait d'efforts. Je ne pense pas que j'aurai un autre enfant, alors cet accouchement à la maison, cette expérience que je garde précieusement en moi, est un rappel constant pour moi qu'avec Dieu et la confiance en nos capacités, soulever des montagnes - ou mettre des enfants au monde sereinement - c'est possible!

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

Wordless Wednesday #4

Three weeks ago, we attended an "International Party" at the International Ward in Frankfurt (LDS Church). I helped a bit my friend Eva to prepare the French table and brought a Far breton and a cake.
We had a blast at this party, with music, local traditions, meeting great people and eating delicious food from different countries. For example (there were so many different dishes!):
Spanish tapas
pasteis de nata from Portugual
tiramisu or gressini from Italy
Indonesian dish and nems (yummy!)
French pesto
American pumpkin cake, etc.

Aww... Writing this makes me hungry. I would love to have lasagna or a curry, or a thai dish right now.
And you? Have you some favorite "foreign" dishes?

lundi 2 novembre 2015

10 ideas for a festive table decoration - Festive Family 2015

There's so much to do to prepare the Holidays, that often we loose focus on what is trully important: being whith the people we love. That said, we can spend some fun and quality time with our family and friends while preparing our decoration for all the parties we will held or go to...
Let's see what we can make - or shop - with the kids to help them participate!

1/ Tablecloths.
Well, well, well... This topic has been abundantly discussed in many articles and books. What you have to keep in mind to chose your tablecloth are the shape and size of your table(s) (duh!): many people invited means often more than one table. You have perhaps a bunch of pretty tablecloths in your cupboards but not all of the same color and pattern. So be smart and buy new ones in all the sizes and shapes needed for all your tables in just ONE color. It has to be a color you like and that can go well with your crockery. These tablecloths will be used at every big gatherings you will organize in the future. What will make it festive is what you will put on them! (see all the other points in this post)

 Of course, if you have a family meal on just one table, you can use one lovely and festive table clothe. What do you think of these:

Table clothe from Les Toiles du Soleil. Fabric: model Tsar Or.

From Le Jacquard Français

Now that you have chosen your tablecloth(s), you can start thinking about the rest of the decoration!

2 / Table runner
Koloud from A Crafty Arab, one of the member of the Multicultural Kid Blogs community I'm in, has a simple and pretty idea for a table runner you can do with your kids. What is great with this one? It fits for all your family gatherings!

I also found this very cute idea of a snowflakes table runner:

You can find the tutorial here on HGTV.

3/ Mark-place for your guests.
I have two posts on my blog that you will like. They are easy to do with children and your guests can keep them as reminder of the great time you will have spend together.

Thanks cards for your guests as mark-places

For the star and Ferrero mark-place, here's the PIN 
For the one in the plate: PIN 
And the mark-place on the glass : PIN 

4/ Candle jars
There are so many of them on Pinterest! I had a hard time to select two...
Here are my favorites that the children can do themselves for a Christmas table:

Yarn wrapped painted jars.
You need glasses, paint, and yarn for these candle jars.
Of course, you can paint whatever color you prefer!
Nice and simple! Thanks Sophie from The Forge Style
Washitape jars
From Mademoiselle Dentelle
You have your theme for your party?
Now use washi tapes in the required colors and patterns.
The kids can't do wrong...

5/ Table wreath

A tulle wreath on Simple DIY 2. Chose your colors and give them to the children...

And now 4 WREATHS on the same blog post, thanks to Crafts 'n Coffee:

6/ Scented candles for a festive atmosphere!
Oh the choice for the candles! But, since I tested the Salt City candles, I love their products! I'm a bit late in my shopping for this winter however, I think I will let myself be bespelled by these "flavours":

Candle Maple Butterscotch
Christmas Eve

Christmas trimmings

7/ Table mats
This craft idea will help you use all the old wrapping papers, cards and photos you don't know to store anymore! Follow all the instructions on the Junk Mail Gem Blog to create these table mats:

8/ Napkin rings
So easy and quick to do with kids!
Curtain rings, ribbons, glue: et voilà!
idea: Hippos and dinosaurs

And well... I found this list of great ideas, on Brightsettings, with all the tutos!

9/ Chair decoration
The Budget Decorator has listed some pretty easy and fun last minutes decorations for Christmas
 and I fell in love with her chair decoration. 

10/ Random table decoration
Be creative, take example in the nature with these craft ideas:

  • Paint with a spray pinecones in gold, silver, red or green... and dispose them on the table.
  • Use oranges with cloves or cinnamon rolls to have a nice scent at the table
  • Create snow globes with old jars:

Snow globes: decoration and gifts! From Whipperberry
  • a ribbon and a big pinecone: a lovely deco around the table!
Pinecones with ribbons

I hope you will have found some ideas for your next family gathering. Ask your kids which one they like the best, and help them make it! I wish you the best for this Holiday season!

This post is part of the Festive Family Event

The Giveaway for this year is huge! 
You can find all the informations about the prize package on the page event.

So enter now to have a chance to win it!

To check out all the other posts written for this special blogging event, it's here:

Christmas Sensory Play Ideas from Adventures of Adam
Gingerbread Play Dough from The Gingerbread House
Glitter Pinecones from Peace But Not Quiet
Christmas Crafts for Toddlers from Kidz Activities
DIY Hot Chocolate Kit from Taking Care of Monkey Business
Gifts Kids Can Make from Simply Vicki
Christmas Yoga from Kids Yoga Stories
Gifts That Last All Year from Local Busy Bees
10 Idea for Festive Table Decoration from La Cité des Vents
Christmas Tree Decoration and Card from Castle View Academy
Book-Toy Gift Sets for Preschoolers from P is for Preschooler
DIY Gift: Science Kit for Kids! from Preschool Powol Packets
Christmas Poems to Color from Are We There Yet?
The Frugal Family Gift that Keeps On Giving from Kimie Pruessner Photography
Christmas Hand and Foot Print Crafts from Play & Learn Everyday

We also have a Pinterest board:


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